System Synergy with M3TM

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morganc

System Synergy with M3TM
« on: 12 Sep 2019, 03:43 pm »
So far I am loving the M3TM with the sysnergy of components that many of you here have heard and recommended!

At this moment I have the M3TM with:
Cherry King Stereo Maraschino
AntiCable Speaker Cables, USB, and IC's
Auralic Mini Aries Streamer
MHDT Atlantis DAC

My Question: What is the weak link at this moment in my system?   It is sounding better and The system has improved dramatically with the change in Amps.  I know that Anticables and Spatial Do shows together, so my question is: For those who use Cherry Amp with Spatial, what DAC are you running, which ones did you try, and which do you prefer and why, what improved?  I am asking as I have not heard a Spatial system before fully dialed in and I want to know the best that this can sound and do not need to try every separate change myself, as many of you have better ears that I do! 

Thoughts are appreciated, generic DAC recommendations from those with completely different systems not needed. 

Wind Chaser

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #1 on: 12 Sep 2019, 06:18 pm »
Your system is a lot like mine, I have...

Spatial M3ts
Cherry King Mono amps (48v)
Auralic Aries Mini (the built in DAC sucks)

As for cables, I do not particularly care for Anti cables, Blue Jeans Cables etc. I’ve tried them and IMO better cables are worth the extra money. BUT cables are the last thing I address as a finishing touch to maximize system potential.

I don’t know anything about your DAC, but I am quite happy with my Nuprime DAC-10. However I am very, very curious about the Cherry DAC, mainly because of what the Sumoking (another forum member whose judgement I trust) said about it in comparison to the Exogal Comet. Like the Cherry amps, I’m certain the Cherry DACs are equally amazing in terms of performance and value. Just ask the Sumoking what he thinks!

Unfortunately like the Cherry amps, Cherry DACs go largely unnoticed by people willing to pay a lot more for a lot less due to ignorance and the tremendous influence the audio press has; who by the way have an obligation to their sponsors who provide them with advertising revenue etc. I’m glad Tommy doesn’t participate in that game.

Any magazine or website that reviews audio gear cannot be trusted if their survival depends on advertising income, favours, back room deals made behind closed doors etc. This is an overt conflict of interest that should be OBVIOUS to everyone.

One final area worth looking at is upgrading the stock crossover with better parts. Many people do this with various speakers and there is at least one forum member who went down that path with the M3ts. If I’m not mistaken he did a series of cap upgrades over time that cost him around $1000. Every time he replaced a stock part with a much higher quality part, the improvement vs price was deemed by him to be well worth it.

If I didn’t live in Canada, but a lot closer to Texas, I’d bring or ship my speakers to Danny Richie at GR Research and have him overhaul the crossover from the ground up. I don’t mean any disrespect to Clayton, but the crossover in almost every speaker on the market is a compromise based on cost constraints. There are a number of threads, including before and after pictures with measurements on this subject here on AC and elsewhere on the web.

Personally I wouldn’t worry about voiding the warranty. The drivers are not fused or protected by any means and Clayton wouldn’t provide a 20 year warranty if he had any doubt about the durability of the drivers.

seasky78

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #2 on: 12 Sep 2019, 07:44 pm »
I am using Auralic Aeries G2. Your source should be upgraded prior to other components. Just my 2 cents.


morganc

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #3 on: 12 Sep 2019, 10:03 pm »
I am using Auralic Aeries G2. Your source should be upgraded prior to other components. Just my 2 cents.

Have you compared the G2 to the Mini ?   Or perhaps to a Lumin? 

I had the Gen 1 Aries but never have had side by Side A/B testing.  Would love to hear from anyone who has in this or any system. 

morganc

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #4 on: 12 Sep 2019, 10:05 pm »
Your system is a lot like mine, I have...

Spatial M3ts
Cherry King Mono amps (48v)
Auralic Aries Mini (the built in DAC sucks)

As for cables, I do not particularly care for Anti cables, Blue Jeans Cables etc. I’ve tried them and IMO better cables are worth the extra money. BUT cables are the last thing I address as a finishing touch to maximize system potential.

I don’t know anything about your DAC, but I am quite happy with my Nuprime DAC-10. However I am very, very curious about the Cherry DAC, mainly because of what the Sumoking (another forum member whose judgement I trust) said about it in comparison to the Exogal Comet. Like the Cherry amps, I’m certain the Cherry DACs are equally amazing in terms of performance and value. Just ask the Sumoking what he thinks!

Unfortunately like the Cherry amps, Cherry DACs go largely unnoticed by people willing to pay a lot more for a lot less due to ignorance and the tremendous influence the audio press has; who by the way have an obligation to their sponsors who provide them with advertising revenue etc. I’m glad Tommy doesn’t participate in that game.

Any magazine or website that reviews audio gear cannot be trusted if their survival depends on advertising income, favours, back room deals made behind closed doors etc. This is an overt conflict of interest that should be OBVIOUS to everyone.

One final area worth looking at is upgrading the stock crossover with better parts. Many people do this with various speakers and there is at least one forum member who went down that path with the M3ts. If I’m not mistaken he did a series of cap upgrades over time that cost him around $1000. Every time he replaced a stock part with a much higher quality part, the improvement vs price was deemed by him to be well worth it.

If I didn’t live in Canada, but a lot closer to Texas, I’d bring or ship my speakers to Danny Richie at GR Research and have him overhaul the crossover from the ground up. I don’t mean any disrespect to Clayton, but the crossover in almost every speaker on the market is a compromise based on cost constraints. There are a number of threads, including before and after pictures with measurements on this subject here on AC and elsewhere on the web.

Personally I wouldn’t worry about voiding the warranty. The drivers are not fused or protected by any means and Clayton wouldn’t provide a 20 year warranty if he had any doubt about the durability of the drivers.

Thank you.

1. Not gonna upgrade the speakers as that's more expensive than just getting a newer model.  I know that would make them better, and great idea, it's just costly with little ROI upon resale. 
2. The Cherry Dac sounds good, but I have to buy two boxes and a Spidf cable and a new, longer USB cable....I may try it, but it gets complicated and expensive quickly!
3. Just for the record, what cables do you like?  You obviously have great ears and I love your recommmendations so far!

ric

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 90
Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #5 on: 13 Sep 2019, 01:38 pm »
If you happen to have more than one pair of speaker cables around, try the Schroeder method (on the web) of doubling up your cables (both for sp. and IC's). Sounds crazy, but to my ears it works.
If you have not used Iso-Acoustics products, I highly recommend them for the speakers AND for ANY (and every) component. Your ears will thank you.
Finally, I thought I would not need my homemade Shakti Hallowgraphs seeing that the speakers were open baffle, but with the "controlled directivity" of the product--sometimes the sound (for me) is a little TOO direct and it makes a huge difference when you can alter the soundstage via the Hallographs. If you can work with wood you can build a pair.
good luck!

Shakeydeal

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #6 on: 13 Sep 2019, 01:52 pm »
Your DAC should be the last thing you replace. MHDT DACs are extremely musical and punch well above their weight.


Shakey

morganc

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #7 on: 13 Sep 2019, 02:19 pm »
Your DAC should be the last thing you replace. MHDT DACs are extremely musical and punch well above their weight.


Shakey

Thanks!  I just found a killer deal on an Auralic Aries LE Femto, so I will get a chance to A/B that with the Mini and upgrade it.   

Appreciate all your help guys. 

Morgan
« Last Edit: 13 Sep 2019, 03:50 pm by morganc »

Wind Chaser

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #8 on: 13 Sep 2019, 06:30 pm »
3. Just for the record, what cables do you like?  You obviously have great ears and I love your recommmendations so far!

I’m using TEO Liquid IC’s and Cerious Graphene Extreme SC’s. I’ve tried a few different PC’s ranging in price from $100 to $1000 with various amps and sources both tube and SS and TBH I wasn’t the least bit impressed with any of them.

Most cable companies have a trial period so it’s something you can explore without being locked in if you’re willing to pay full price. Used cables are a lot cheaper, but I have yet to see anyone offer a trial period as such.

morganc

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #9 on: 14 Sep 2019, 10:06 pm »
I’m using TEO Liquid IC’s and Cerious Graphene Extreme SC’s. I’ve tried a few different PC’s ranging in price from $100 to $1000 with various amps and sources both tube and SS and TBH I wasn’t the least bit impressed with any of them.

Most cable companies have a trial period so it’s something you can explore without being locked in if you’re willing to pay full price. Used cables are a lot cheaper, but I have yet to see anyone offer a trial period as such.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for some of these.  The key to amazing synergy for me is:  I don't pay full price for anything.  I assemble entire systems and often sell them for the same price I paid as I'm patient and well educated thanks to y'all.   

Wind Chaser

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #10 on: 14 Sep 2019, 11:35 pm »
Please, please, please - don’t take my word for anything. You could come to a different conclusion. Even used, those cables are still relatively pricey. And I cannot guarantee that there aren’t better options for less money. Having said that I am happy with my cables, and yes I bought them new meaning I paid full price. :D :D

However.... if I was in the market for cables, I’d take a good look (and listen) at the offerings by Audio Envy. All of their cables are very competitively priced and they have a reputation for spanking far more costly cables in terms of performance. I also know someone (whose judgement I trust) who also has Cherry amps with Spatial speakers who thinks very highly of every cable he’s has tried by Audio Envy.





JackD

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Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #11 on: 15 Sep 2019, 12:08 am »
Agree on the Audio Envy recommendation as I am using them in the Main system now.  Another good choice at a fair price is Audio Sensibility in Toronto.  Both companies have trial periods and AS almost always has a sale coupon on top of the difference in the two dollar valuations. 

HanaEyes

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #12 on: 15 Sep 2019, 06:38 am »
The aries mini probably is the weakest link now. When I considered my source, the mini was on consideration, but side by side with the sotm sms200 made me decide on the latter. I am now using the sms200 trifecta with a txusb and a modded switch.

Apart from system synergy, I've realised that m4tm has a slight dip in 1500-2500 hz compared to the rest of the freq. I originally thought it was the room and equipment, but come to realise it's the tweeter. Anyone experience something like that in their setups? It's not a huge dip (2-3db), and it definitely is something I can live with, just that the dynamic swing is a little weird. Like you expect it to go loud and sharp with bite, but suddenly it kind of peaks and gently gets there.

Sorry for the off topic since you were discussing system synergy, but I just wanted to put this into equation as sometimes you may think it's components not performing well enough, but it actually may be the speaker that is not capable of reproducing what your components are capable of.

morganc

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #13 on: 15 Sep 2019, 03:21 pm »
The aries mini probably is the weakest link now. When I considered my source, the mini was on consideration, but side by side with the sotm sms200 made me decide on the latter. I am now using the sms200 trifecta with a txusb and a modded switch.

Apart from system synergy, I've realised that m4tm has a slight dip in 1500-2500 hz compared to the rest of the freq. I originally thought it was the room and equipment, but come to realise it's the tweeter. Anyone experience something like that in their setups? It's not a huge dip (2-3db), and it definitely is something I can live with, just that the dynamic swing is a little weird. Like you expect it to go loud and sharp with bite, but suddenly it kind of peaks and gently gets there.

Sorry for the off topic since you were discussing system synergy, but I just wanted to put this into equation as sometimes you may think it's components not performing well enough, but it actually may be the speaker that is not capable of reproducing what your components are capable of.

I think this is perfectly appropriate and a useful topic as again I have not heard a fully optimized Spatial system, and the prior owner of my speakers did mention a dip in the Midrange.  I'm curious now if this is reflected in the measurements? 

And agree on the Aries mini, and am already on the upgrade path there. 

morganc

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #14 on: 15 Sep 2019, 03:23 pm »
Agree on the Audio Envy recommendation as I am using them in the Main system now.  Another good choice at a fair price is Audio Sensibility in Toronto.  Both companies have trial periods and AS almost always has a sale coupon on top of the difference in the two dollar valuations.

Thanks Jack...do you have any idea what cables are the "specialty" in the lineup?  I find that almost all companies have a house sound that is most expressed through a particular cable. 
Ex:  High Fidelity and IC's
Pete's Triode and PC's.


Wind Chaser

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #15 on: 15 Sep 2019, 07:29 pm »
The aries mini probably is the weakest link...

Only if one is using the Mini’s internal DAC via the analog outputs. But one has a separate and better DAC, they can feed the Mini’s digital output into their better DAC and thus bypass the weak link in the Mini, which is its own DAC. In that case I don’t see how anyone can claim the Mini is the weak link.  :dunno:

FWIW I’ve compered the Mini with its digital output into my DAC vs red book CD into my DAC and found no appreciable difference.  :D :D

I have also compared the Mini’s digital output into my DAC vs the Mini’s analog output and there was in fact a very significant difference with my preference going easily to my DAC.  :D :D

Wind Chaser

Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #16 on: 15 Sep 2019, 07:35 pm »
I've realised that m4tm has a slight dip in 1500-2500 hz compared to the rest of the freq. I originally thought it was the room and equipment, but come to realise it's the tweeter.

A 2 dB dip in that range isn’t something most people can perceive. Most speakers are +/- 3 dbs.

JackD

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Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #17 on: 15 Sep 2019, 08:30 pm »
Morgan in the system I am using the cables in I find the IC's and SC cables to have a similar sound.  They are for the most a neutral cable with just a slight hint of warmth.  I would just call Cap on the phone and talk to him.

As to the Aries Mini if you put it with a separate linear power supply like the TeraDak models on Ebay it is pretty hard to beat without spending significantly more money.  I'm not sure how much better than that combo the LE will be.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TeraDak-DC-30W-16V-1A-AURALIC-ARIES-mini-Linear-Power-Supply/183674253913?hash=item2ac3d6b259:g:BPoAAOSwvdxbt7Sd

HanaEyes

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #18 on: 16 Sep 2019, 06:12 am »
A 2 dB dip in that range isn’t something most people can perceive. Most speakers are +/- 3 dbs.

It's not a flat 2-3db dip, more like a sine wave of ups and downs all the way till 10khz. At 2500hz there was a 3db dip, but more severely from 1800-2200hz, where it drops as much as 4-7db.

What makes it so much more prominent is that across the mids (300-600hz), there are peaks of 5-10db, and at 1400hz (+5db), before that steep dip. This means that when Eva Cassidy sings Blue Skies, you'll hear it get loud and when it hits the chorus and ending, the same energy isn't there.

This doesn't only happen in my setup. Had a similar experience at a friend's place (he uses the M3TM, paired with a significantly better source - in the 5 digit range).

HanaEyes

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: System Synergy with M3TM
« Reply #19 on: 16 Sep 2019, 07:00 am »
Only if one is using the Mini’s internal DAC via the analog outputs. But one has a separate and better DAC, they can feed the Mini’s digital output into their better DAC and thus bypass the weak link in the Mini, which is its own DAC. In that case I don’t see how anyone can claim the Mini is the weak link.  :dunno:

FWIW I’ve compered the Mini with its digital output into my DAC vs red book CD into my DAC and found no appreciable difference.  :D :D

I have also compared the Mini’s digital output into my DAC vs the Mini’s analog output and there was in fact a very significant difference with my preference going easily to my DAC.  :D :D

A source can be just a transport. Just bypassing the built in dac from the mini doesn't automatically mean all signals are the same. Sending a digital signal from let's say, my macbook pro, VS sending a digital signal in from my sotm txusb, was completely different. The latter yielding a huge improvement in terms of separation, timbre and tone, and way lower noise floor. Both are digital signals that feed into my dac, yet they sound completely different.

I also have an old Rega CDP, and feeding a digital coaxial from it into my dac also spawned differences - bass is not as tight, slightly less detailed, but mids and highs were smoother and more organic. It is this organic character that I find pure digital usb transports struggle to produce, and the higher end transports usually sound more natural and less digital.